This week in Los Angeles, dip into many sides of the city, from comedy to art to bugs (yes, actual bugs). You'll find the best improv in town at Westside Comedy, and the coolest creepy crawlies at the Natural History Museum. For a sweet weekend, head to Oxnard for the annual California Strawberry Festival.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what's happening in cities around the U.S.
May 19 | Film
PXL Pixelvision Film Fest
Now in its 25th year, PXL is the second-oldest film festival in Los Angeles. The fest features films made with the Fisher-Price PXL-2000 camcorder, which gives everything it shoots a security camera feel. Filmmakers range wildly in age and professional level. The whole thing is sort of spooky, as the quality makes your eyes see what they want to, rather than what might actually be there. It’s an experimental film festival unlike any other, and worth a visit at least once.
8 p.m. | Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado St., Los Angeles | $5 | website
May 20 | Comedy
Westside Comedy’s flagship comedy event, Mission Improvable, has been forcing audiences into fits of laughter for over 15 years. Members of this elite improv group have made appearances on Key and Peele, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Modern Family, Family Guy, American Dad, and more, so you can’t go wrong spending a night out seeing them riff off each other’s antics. The venue is tucked away in the alley between 3rd and 4th, making the whole experience of getting there feel special in and of itself.
10 p.m. | Westside Comedy,1323-A 3rd St Promenade, Santa Monica | $12 | website
May 21–22 | Bugs
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles can’t be stopped. They are bringing so many activities to Angelenos (follow along on Instagram @NHMLA so you don’t miss out) and making the museum a living, breathing extension of the city. The 30th annual Bug Fair continues along those lines, promising some majorly cool and creepy good times. You can pet a tarantula if that’s your thing, or snack on some umami crickets. There will be bug hunts, centipede meets, and performances for kids of all ages. In the words of Jesse Pinkman: “Yeah, Science!”
9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. | Natural History Museum, 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles | (213) 763-DINO | $12 | website
Oxnard, a mere 47 miles from L.A., is really the gem of Ventura County. The seaside community is especially charming this weekend, when its famous California Strawberry Festival occurs. There you’ll find a Strawberry Promenade featuring tasty strawberry beer (yes, that’s a thing!), strawberry shortcakes with freshly chopped berries, and other eats glorifying this delicious fruit. There will also be over 200 artisans selling original works ranging from outdoor furniture to unique paintings, sculptures, and ceramics. Musicians and DJs will be on hand to make sure you rock out, and there will even be a good old-fashioned pie-eating contest—strawberry, of course.
10 a.m.–6:30 p.m. | Strawberry Meadows of College Park, 3250 South Rose Ave., Oxnard | $12 | website
Now open | Gallery
Daniel Rolnik Gallery
Daniel Rolnik is a gallerist whose insanely infectious smile and good-natured attitude help separate him from the pack. He is the furthest from your worst art nightmare—you know, the condescending gallery owner who won’t look at a piece unless it's from a famous painter or sculptor. Rolnik also has a great eye, which he uses to bring artists of all calibers and genres to a more mainstream audience. The gallery is even dog-friendly, so your pooch can enjoy the works just like everybody else.
Daniel Rolnik Gallery, 2675 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles | (310) 729-3399 | website
Eva Glettner is a writer and a native Angeleno. She loves art, travel, coffee, and skateboarding.